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Home > Medical Services > Ear, Nose & Throat > Ear Care > Ear Disorders > Earaches, Ear Infections, Ear Pain, Ear Drainage, Swimmers Ear > Ear Tube Surgery
A myringotomy surgery creates an incision in the eardrum to release fluid trapped behind the eardrum in the middle ear and also to allow air to re-enter the middle ear. This procedure is often used to treat “glue ear” or recurring ear infections that do not respond to antibiotics.
In many individuals, after the myringotomy procedure is performed, small tubes called pressure equalization (PE) tubes, are then placed in the hole created by the myringotomy to maintain the opening between the outer and middle ear. General anesthesia is typically considered for younger patients, but older children and adults may opt to undergo this procedure in the office using local anesthetic with minimal discomfort.
These two procedures, together, completely resolve infection in more than 90% of children with recurring infections that have not effectively responded to less-invasive treatments. Surgery is advised for those with middle ear fluid present in the ear for more than three months, a high number of recurrent infections, complication from an infection and other, more specialized reasons.
PE tubes are temporary and will eventually fall out. If the middle ear fluid and infections return, the tubes may need to be replaced. More permanent tubes are available if a longer term solution is required.